So here it is, a completely free, 8-step E-Guide to starting homeschool.
When it comes to crafts supplies and learning resources, so many of us keep them safely locked away in unreachable cupboards or shelves; partly because some things are expensive and we don’t want to risk damage or loss, and partly because we don’t want a hot mess to clear up and we don't trust the kids enough to give them free access. But in doing this, we need to ask what message are we giving to our children about our learning environment?
Something to consider is when things are out of sight, they are often out of mind.
When we have things hidden away in storage, how often are they thought about? How often do we ourselves make the conscious decision to get them out?
Whether you're reading this as a homeschool or school parent, I know if you're a responsible and interested Mum, you 100% want your children to enjoy learning and discovering new things.
Some days you wake up, and there is only one thing on your mind: survival. Your goal is simply to get through the day; feed everyone, end the sibling conflicts without anyone loosing an eye, and hope that at least some maths gets done. Survive.
Deep rooted in amongst all the chaos, we know that there is more to this homeschooling life than just survival. None of us are home educating so our family can just merely survive. We want everyone to thrive.
There is a consensus that when it comes to homework, this is something which a child should be left alone with unless they really need help. And certainly it should never be done for them.
When I think back to my own school days, I notice that the kids who tended to be at the top of the class and well-liked by the teachers, generally seemed to be the kids who had parents (whether one or two) at home supporting them through their education. They didn't just leave it to the teachers.
I was asked recently how can we keep our young children away from mobile phones and other electronic gadgets?
You might not like my answer.
Don't use them.
I've seen too many mothers handing their young child a mobile phone to keep them quiet at the masjid, to get them to eat or when they are busy and need the kids to be quiet.
Our children wouldn't have quite the intense reaction they do around these mobile appliances in the first place if we didn't use them as a pacifier to hush or entertain them...and....
….if they didn't see us with them in hand so often.
We have a big part to play in this, because many of us ourselves are addicted to our phones.
Yes, addicted and often in denial.
Following my last post on how to homeschool a two year old, I said I'd answer some of your questions that were sent to me through Instagram, relating to home-schooling your preschool aged child. I've gone ahead and converted my answers into a free pdf ebook to make it super easy to pick up and flick through.
Much of my advice stems off the principle that pre-schoolers pretty much don't need homeschooling, but need parenting.
They need you dear Mama, not a homeschool teacher.
One of the most common questions I receive, is asking how to homeschool a two year old. I don't know why age two seems to bring about so many questions, but it does because so many of you ask me about yours!
Rather than constantly rewriting the same suggestions in a briefly summarised Instagram or Facebook message, touch-typed through my mobile phone, I figured it would be useful to have a post ready-to-go answering this question.
For non-Arabic speakers, building up Arabic vocabulary with our children is something which may feel unnatural to begin with as new words and phrases are introduced. But with practice and use, they will soon roll off our tongues without any thought inshaAllah.
It simply takes time, practice, patience and the belief that growing our language skills will one day pay off and will become second nature bi'ithnillah.
People learn second languages all the time. The difficulty we have in the West when learning Arabic, is we are not often in situations where we are forced to speak it, so we don't. We're learning to understand and speak Arabic in a non-Arabic speaking country so its too easy to stay within our comfort zones and not try...even when we meet an Arabic speaking sister at the masjid.
To help my children's understanding of the Qur'an, we've been taking an ayah a "lesson", looking at its translated meaning and brief tafseer together. Discussing how this relates to our lives before recording it in a small note-book. You can read more about how we're studying the meaning of the Qur'an with kids as part of a morning basket routine....although it somewhat evolved to not always be in the morning!